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Merry Wives of Windsor: Falstaff meets Mistress Quickly (A2S2)

One of my favourite comic scenes in Shakespeare is this scene between Mistress Quickly and Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsors. Its charms are more subtle than the more obvious favourites, but it has enormous charm. In my view, more generally, The Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare’s more under-rated plays.

The context is as follows.

Falstaff is broke, and is desparate for money. He decides to write love letters to two of the wealthier wives  of the citizens of Windsor in the hopes of persuading them into an affair, during which he can relieve them of some of their cash. The love letters are identical. The wives share the letters and are outraged that he should be making love to them, and in identical terms.

They commission Mistress Quickly to act as a gobetween them and Falstaff, and to arrange a meeting between Falstaff and Mistress Ford, so that they can play some tricks on him.

In this scene, Mistress Quickly meets Falstaff for the first time. Watch it below:

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Now you’ve watched our version of the scene, why don’t you play it yourselves. You need two actors one to play Falstaff; one to play Mistress Quickly. Links to their scripts (in highlight text) are given below (Both players should scroll down to Mistress Quickly’s entrance):

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If you want to find out what happens when Falstaff meets Mistress Ford, listen to Falstafff recount it to Master Brook, also known as Master Ford, but not to Falstaff. You’ll find it at:

A3S5: Falstaff’s soliloquy with Master Brook

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Let’s Play,

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‘The Director’,
Players-Shakespeare.com
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